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Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge

Blog item: Next Steps by the United States: The Adventure Begins

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3 comments, last: Nov-9-2008   Add a comment   Author:  PT (Nov-7-2008)    Play a Video
Categories: Global Warming, Philosophical & Quality of Life, Political, Pollution, Sustainable Living

Now, the rubber needs to meet the roadGood news: Obama has stated that he wants an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050, matching the United Kingdom goal and surpassing Europe.

It appears likely, from examining Obama's public statements, that he is not fully aware of the dire straits that the planet finds itself in due to impending changes in the availability of such resources as oil, water, and farmable soil.  Depending on how quickly these challenges make themselves felt in countries that "matter", meaning we exclude most of Asia and all of Africa, some radical policies will need to be implemented, policies that will have consequences for we for-the-most-part comfortable American citizens.

It is also possible that the new president and his administration will look more closely at all the science and become alarmed enough to want to take strong action before it is forced on us through personal fear of an American round of starvation such as frequently sweeps parts of Africa.

It appears that Obama is on the right track in another sense, namely, the goal of capitalizing on the need to be green by supporting a new green jobs policy.  How this will be implemented is not clear, but creating 5 million new jobs in green industries is one of the most admirable and effective plans out there right now, since it connects economic benefit with environmental benefit.

In fact, in the REAL economy, that is exactly the linkage that corresponds to healthy government policy.  Why?  Because, as we have previously discussed, standard economics does not put a value on benefits in land fertility, reduction of solid and liquid waste, shortening of transport lines, and so on.  Standard economics also fails to place a cost on most aspects of pollution cleanup, land depletion, and toxic product (plastic, electronics, even paper) creation.

In the new economics that we can hope will slowly gain supremacy, the attempt is made to determine the total effect of each action we take, each product manufactured, each governmental policy.  For that reason, the goal of generating all our energy needs, ultimately, from renewable and non-polluting sources (the usual wind, sun, waves, geothermal and so on), that goal has tremendous implications for the quality of life for every inhabitant of the planet.

Some benefits we should look toward include:

  • more local, non-corporate control of energy sources
  • less pollution while generating energy
  • lower cost for energy, once all the infrastructure is in place

We can now hope that the new president of our country will look closely at the environment and take action with all due speed.  He is off to a reasonably good start, but is not quite there, yet.

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Comment by: StevenSALMONY (Steven Earl SALMONY) (Nov-9-2008)   Web site
Dear David Alexander,

Thanks for all you are doing. Keep moving forward with this initiative. We are going to make a difference.

Please extend my best regards to Paul Chefurka.


Comment by:  PT (David Alexander) (Nov-8-2008)   Web site

Steven, in a few words, I hope you are right. Some feel this is a unique event, more than a once-in-a-century event, and that the perpetual growth of humanity is reaching its limits.
Comment by: StevenSALMONY (Steven Earl SALMONY) (Nov-8-2008)   Web site

With the election of Barack Obama, a new day is surely dawning for the family of humanity. We have good reasons to be hopeful. The agonizing throes of the severe and colossal storm we have endured in the past several years have produced an unexpected outcome. The air is being cleansed and the dark clouds that had been gathering on the horizon are being blown away.

Al Gore has reminded all of us that now is the time for intellectual honesty and moral courage as necessary attributes for responding ably to the human-driven global challenges which are looming ominously before humankind. As the horrendous, once in a century storm is being swept away by benevolent winds of change, perhaps we will see that honest and courageous activities of many people will begin to replace cascading, self-interested behavior of a few misguided, greedy people who have been willing to do whatsoever is politically convenient, economically expedient and socially fashionable... come what may for our children.

Perhaps sufficiently reality-oriented changes in policymaking and action planning, changes that protect biodiversity from mass extinction, prevent more wanton environmental degradation and preserve Earth's body from relentless dissipation as well as the children from endangerment, are in the offing.

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001

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About author/contributor Member: PT (David Alexander) PT (David Alexander)
   Web site:

Member: PT (David Alexander) My lifelong pursuit, since age 18, has been to live more fully and find wisdom. This has involved studies with Zen masters, Tai Chi masters, and great psychotherapists while achieving my license as a gestalt therapist and psychoanalyst.

Along the way, I became aware of how the planet is under great stress due to the driven nature of human activity on this planet.

I believe that the advancement of human well-being will reduce societies addictive behaviors, and will thus also help preserve the environment and perhaps slow down the effects of global warming and other major threats to the health of human societies.
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